Damen Shipyards and Van Stee Offshore have signed a contract for an 80-metre Multibuster 8020. It is the first vessel of a new class and the ultra-shallow draught, multi-purpose workboat is to be delivered next year.

Kommer Damen, Chairman of Damen Shipyards Group, and Arjan van Stee, Director of Van Stee Offshore signed the contract at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2022, which took place 29-30 November in Amsterdam.

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Multi-Cat x Shoalbuster

The Multibuster 8020 combines the key elements of Damen’s Multi-Cat and Shoalbuster workboat classes to create a large-scale platform capable of undertaking a wide variety of projects in waters as shallow as three metres.

The vessel is the brainchild of Damen CEO Arnout Damen who recognised that workboats of this size and capability were not only in short supply, but would also be increasingly required in the years ahead. The basis of the design was developed by naval architecture studio OSD-IMT, part of the Damen Shipyards Group, and construction got underway at Albwardy Damen Sharjah in the UAE in 2020.

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Key Multibuster features

Key features of the design in addition to the shallow draught include extensive deck space, ample accommodation and the high stability that enables the fitting of larger cranes than those on vessels of a similar size. DP2 dynamic positioning is standard and the propulsion system includes a retractable tunnel bow thruster that ensures that two tunnel thrusters are available at all times for enhanced manoeuvrability. All third-party equipment is sourced from leading brands.

As well as serving the offshore renewables and oil and gas sectors, the vessel can perform duties ranging from anchor-handling and towing to ROV operations, cable laying and beach pulling. The Multibuster is expected to be in demand for nearshore operations. The vessel is built to ground out on the beach for tasks such as cable landings and shore approaches.

‘As a specialist in shallow draught operations, the Multibuster will give us new capabilities and opportunities to support our clients in the offshore energy sector,’ says Van Stee. ‘Its low emissions profile will additionally be valued by our partners working on wind and other renewables.’

Joost van der Weiden, Damen Sales Manager Benelux, adds: ‘We believe that the Multibuster 8020 is the right vessel at the right time, delivering a suite of capabilities that are sure to be in demand in the years ahead.’

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Zwerver V

Van Stee Offshore currently operates a fleet of three multi-purpose workboats, at present active in the North Sea, Taiwan and Angola. The Multibuster, to be named Zwerver V, will provide them with another ship capable of global operations.

Prior to its delivery next year, the vessel is undergoing some custom modifications including the addition of a four-point mooring system, the installation of a pedestal to take a large offshore crane and boat landing facilities for crew transfer vessels. The navigation and communication systems are also being upgraded along with the HVAC systems to equip it for high latitude as well as tropical conditions.

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